Kashmir Set To Have Customised Animal Supplement Feed, KashMin
by Prof Abdul Majeed Ganai and Dr Parvaiz Ahmed Reshi
Kashmir valley is set to have its own research-based animal feed supplement in order to meet the mineral needs of livestock.
Named KashMin, the supplement feed would meet the different geo-climatic conditions in the region which are different from the rest of the country.
The KashMin’s coming in is going to help the livestock farmers immensely as it will assist them in raising animals profitably by ensuring that they produce the best possible milk, meat, and fertility.
The KashMin is an outcome of the 10-year odd investigations on the mineral profile of soil, grasses, and feeds by faculty innovators from the Division of Animal Nutrition of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Kashmir (SKAUST-K)
The KashMin was conceived under the SKUAST-Kashmir’s slogan, Knowledge-based technology driven agri-economy, which was coined under incumbent Vice Chancellor Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai and Head Animal Nutrition Division Prof Abdul Majeed Ganai.
The KashMin being in a more absorbable (chelated) form has all the required mineral elements, which will arrest poor production and poor reproductive performance, which otherwise goes unnoticed causing poor health, production, reproduction and body condition of animals.
What is KashMin?
KashMin is a research-based product and a faculty startup incubated at Sher-E-Kashmir Institute of Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre (SKIIE) of SKUAST-Kashmir containing specifically the mineral elements deficient in locally grown fodders, grasses and other feed ingredients in proper proportions with the aim to boost milk, meat production and animal fertility that largely depends upon the proper mineral supplementation.
Geographically Kashmir is different from the rest of the country so is its soil type, vegetation and mineral composition. The grasses, fodders, straws and agro-industrial byproducts available from such soils are therefore having a different composition of these micronutrients (minerals). The different species of herbivores (cattle, sheep, goats and other herbivorous animals) grazing and feeding upon such grasses are having specific deficiencies of minerals that can be corrected by supplementation of the deficient minerals only. So alternatively it can be safely stated that there is a Soil-Plant-Animal inter-relationship of minerals.
Division of Animal Nutrition of SKUAST-Kashmir initiated the work of studying the mineral profile of soil, feed/fodder and animals in the year 2008 and have to date prepared different mineral premixes on district levels. The present formulation KashMin (A mixture of different mineral elements that specifically corrects the mineral deficiencies of Kashmir Livestock) will cover the whole region of Kashmir valley. Formulation of the region-specific product partially fulfils the commitment of SKUAST-Kashmir to serve the needs of the hill and temperate agriculture and ensure better production from animal rearing and the progression of our farming community.
How KashMin is different?
Other popular brands of mineral supplements present in the market are manufactured for the whole of the country covering all species of animals and birds predominantly serving other parts of the country (tropical region) having different soil, feed and fodder composition with respect to minerals. KashMin on the other hand is a species-specific and region-specific product formulated keeping in consideration the specific needs of animals of this temperate region based on the mineral profile of the locally grown grasses, feed ingredients and fodders. To start with KashMin for cattle is being launched and KashMin for sheep and goats will follow.
Will KashMin be Costlier?
No, one of the important aims of the present programme is to offer a product that is comparatively affordable to farmers, therefore it will cost almost half of the available popular brands of mineral supplements in the market without compromising on the quality of the product. There will be direct selling of KashMin from manufacturer to end users; therefore it will cost lower with quality assurances.
Where from to get KashMin?
While the product is expected to be formally launched on the Kissan Mela being observed by SKUAST-Kashmir in the first week of March 2023, the KashMin will be made available from district KVKs and some identified veterinary medicine outlets in the first phase.
(Prof Abdul Majeed Ganai is Head, the Division of Animal Nutrition and Dr Parvaiz Ahmed Reshi is Assistant Professor (Animal Nutrition) at Mountain Livestock Research Institute at Sher-E-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology-Kashmir. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)